Saturday, July 20, 2013

Roaming in Romania - Day 4: Last Delta Evening

Firstly apologies for the delay in posting but there were a lot of photographs to sort through from this very productive session.

Following the afternoon siesta, the four photographers gathered on the jetty awaiting arrival of the hide boat for our last evening session on the Delta.  As we waited around 20 white pelicans flew lazily upstream to settle in an area off the main channel around 300m away. This would be our first stop off point for the afternoon session. As we stopped and manoeuvred into position I took the opportunity to take a photograph of a Caspian Gull perched nearby and a Common Tern bathing.

The area where the birds had landed was very shallow and even involved Zoltan getting out the boat at one point and pushing it to get us closer into the birds. The Pelicans put on a superb display for us over the next two hours with co-operative feeding , preening and eventually flying off to their next destination. It was both fascinating and a pleasure to watch the feeding behaviour as the birds corralled fish before plunging in together with the hug beaks to scoop up the tightly packed shoals.  A small selection of images from those very memorable two hour are below.
A moment in the feeding frenzy
A quiet spell after feeding
 Wings of an 'angel'.
The pelican is a very heavy bird to get airborne.
We departed with the birds, and only travelled a short distance further upstream, and still within view of our hotel on the island, when we came across our first Little Egret and Glossy Ibis. I was surprised by the apparently low numbers of egrets in the Delta.
The Glossy Ibis, a first for me, was such a beautiful bird that was glowing with metallic green and purple hues off its wings in the slowly descending sun.
We headed onwards in the boat and our destination for the rest of the session was to be the huge lake, where the previous evening we had seen large numbers of Squacco and Night Heron gathering towards dusk and hunting among the lilies.

Predictably it was one of the numerous Squacco Heron that we encountered first as it picked it way gracefully amongst the lilies.
As the light started to soften and reduce the Night Herons became more active allowing us the first opportunities for some flight photographs of these compact birds.

The quality of light was becoming better and better and we managed to get some of the best Night Heron portraits of the trip before the sun temporarily disappeared behind a bank of cloud.

We continued our journey across to the edge of the lake where half a dozen of the usually very nervous Glossy Ibis were oblivious our presence as the busily fed amongst the Lilies. It was a shame we had lost the sun while we were with these birds as they were being very active. There really wasnot enough light to produce sufficient shutter speed as thye jumped and delicately fluttered between floating vegetation.
Next bird in front of the lens was a juvenile Night Heron that was waiting patiently for its next unsuspecting meal to swim past.
The sun briefly reappeared between the low cloud and the horizon offering the last glimmer of sunlight for the day the was used on photographing some more Squacco Heron that were still busy reducing the abundance of frogs in the Delta.
I do not think I have put some many photographs in a blog post before which is just a reflection of how productive the Delta can be for the bird photographer.

Overall it had been a very special day in the Delta and as the sun set, and the watery landscape took on a golden glow, the small boat transporting some smiling photographers slowly made its way back through the weed choked channels to our hotel at Mila 23.
We would have one last session on the Delta the following morning before we headed to the next phase of journey, the Macin mountains. It was agreed that in the morning we would return to the first small lake where we started our Delta sessions to try and capture some more Black-necked Grebes, and of course any other birds we might happen across on our travels, in the soft dawn light.

1 comment:

France Paulsen said...

Your glossy Ibis is looking like a White-Faced Ibis. I hope to get to see one of them in person soon.


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